The Biggest Environmental Story You've Never Heard Of

2.28.2008
Right now the fate of Idaho's roadless forests is at stake. The Bush Administration is taking one last crack at the Nationwide Roadless Rule with a swipe at Idaho.

Rice Lake

Essentially, they want to roll back nationwide protections in Idaho, and hand over millions of our last undeveloped forests to special interests. They are not even bothering to hide their agenda, and continue to move forward with their plans despite tremendous outcry from united groups of backpackers, hunters, anglers, hikers, environmentalists and other outdoor enthusiasts.

While these groups typically don't see eye to eye on environmental issues, they do when it comes to protecting the last of Idaho's pristine roadless forests.

To better understand the issue at hand please watch PBS's NOW Video: Fighting Over Forests.

Ready to take action? Click here to send in your comments!

E-mail direct to: IDcomments@fsroadless.org

Snail Mail them to:
Roadless Area Conservation-Idaho;
PO Box 162909;
Sacramento, CA;
95816-2909,

Check out talking points, background info, links, maps and more

Molly's Tubs Hot Spring in Idaho Shot-Up

2.27.2008


According to the Idaho Outdoors Yahoo! User Group, the Tubs at Molly's Tubs Hot Spring northeast of Cascade Idaho (Warm Lake Area) have been used as target practice and are all full of bullet holes.

Sadly, this is yet another example of abuse and overuse that is becoming all too common at easy access hot springs. I hope this is just a rumor, because cleaning up those tubs is going to be a nightmare. This is exactly why natural pools should be built verses hauling in crap to soak in.

Idaho Roadless on PBS

2.20.2008
Phosphate mining and resulting contamination will be revealed to the nation on the PBS documentary series NOW airing this Friday, February 22nd.

The program investigates the proposed Idaho Roadless Rule, a Bush administration plan that opens the door for private industry to develop protected land, and examines the relationship between this plan and the phosphate mining industry. The NOW program will feature how the proposed Idaho Rule could result in additional phosphate mining by opening protected lands.

This national program promises to bring national focus on the public lands of southeast Idaho that the Caribou Clean Water Partnership is striving to protect. The program will include interviews with several local residents, including members of the Caribou Clean Water Partnership, industry representatives, and others.

Be sure to tune into NOW on your local public television channel on Friday, February 22nd. The program will air nationally, and will be on all Idaho Public Television channels at 7:30 p.m. If you live outside of Idaho, please check your local listings for the time.

In Regard to Hot Springs

Much of the roadless area in Idaho is also home to many natural hot springs. Along with the land and forests - these unique and sacred places are also at risk.

Additional Roadless Information

Southeast Idaho Roadless Public Hearings

2.19.2008
Fellow Idahoans,

Millions of acres of Idaho's roadless areas are at risk of development. It matters not if you hunt, fish, hike, camp or backpack - what does matter is that you stand up for what little land is left.

Upcoming Roadless Hearings in South East Idaho:

February 20, 2008
Idaho Falls
Shilo Inn
Grand Teton Room
780 Lindsey Blvd
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
6:00 PM

February 21, 2008
Pocatello
Holiday Inn
1399 Bench Road
Pocatello, ID 83201
6:00 PM

Be sure to show up early so that you can sign up to speak at the hearing. Each individual that signs up to speak at the hearing is allotted 3 minutes, so tailor your comments accordingly. Remember to talk about the areas that matter to you most.

Background:

On December 26, 2007 The Forest Service released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement that seeks to weaken protections for much of Idaho's 9.3 million acres of roadless lands. Nearly 6 million acres of those lands would be opened to potential logging and mineral development, and an additional 600,000 acres in Southeast Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem would be offered virtually no protections, thus opening these lands to various extractive industry, including Phosphate mining.

This DEIS was published following the state of Idaho's petition to allow state direction in the management of Idaho' Roadless Areas. These lands are owned by all Americans, and need your voice to ensure that the protections of the 2001 Roadless Rule are upheld. Please feel encouraged to attend and participate in the upcoming public hearings in Southeast Idaho. Hope to see you there!

Additional Roadless Information

Snively Hot Springs in Eastern Oregon

2.08.2008

Snively Hot Springs in Oregon

Just inside the canyon near the north end of Lake Owyhee you'll find the Snively Hot Springs Recreation site. This BLM day use only site typically features 1 or 2 pools that submerge during spring runoff. Their condition depends upon how they are rebuilt after runoff. I have seen a wide variety of pool types; some with designs much more successful than others.

02.06.08 Trip Report

After navigating the maze of not-quite grid roads near Parma and Adel I was able to locate Owyhee Canyon road. I once again found myself entering the high desert canyon after a 2 year absence. The lack of snow, abundance of birds and occasional splash of green grass were a quiet reminder of the high desert prelude to spring.

The cold air temperature revealed the steam from the often elusive Deer Butte Hot Springs from the road. A quick check affirmed my suspicion; despite the existence of water hot enough for soaking, this hot springs still lacks the proper flow required for a healthy soak. That would explain why the remnants were of a concrete pool that would only support a solo soak.

A few minutes later, the pullout for Snively was in sight. Nighttime closure? Unfortunately, yes, it is still posted. No overnight camping, no fires. You can, however, camp either up or down the road. Plus, the recreation site for Snively has a pit toilet.... deluxe accommodations indeed for a hot springs in the semi-remote high desert of eastern Oregon.

Sunburst at Snively

In 1998 the BLM finally decided to close the Snively Hot Spring Recreational Site from sundown to sunrise. The nighttime closure was actually due to assaults, physical fights, minors consuming alcohol and drug usage... not because of the trashed grounds, according to a BLM document I was able to review online.

A friend of IDHS (ARGUS) informed me that a couple years ago there was a particular fight that resulted in the Malhuer County Sheriff Dept. patrolling this area on a regular basis. Apparently a group of 4 or 5 people fought with and killed an individual at or near Snively.

This was my 4th visit to Snively since December of 2002, and I have yet to encounter any form of disorderly conduct at the recreation site or hot springs. There is something I have run into every visit here, TRASH. Tons of it. The levels have gone down over the years, but this is sadly still one of the most trashed hot springs I've come across. What goes on here anyway? The only people I have witnessed are fishermen, bird hunters and families. My experience leads me to reasoning that expose all 3 groups as culprits.

Snively Source

The source of Snively registered 137° on my digital thermometer. The river pool closest to the bank at 119°, the adjacent pool between 107° - 110° and the smallest pool at 103°. I've seen the pool formation change with each visit and this time was no exception. This time, the pools were deep; 3-4 feet in some places. And - hot!! The rock wall developers did a great job. I would have preferred temperatures a tad cooler, but the freezing 30 mph wind did a good job of tempering the exceptionally hot water.

To be honest, I didn't even plan on soaking. I was going to check out the hot springs while hiking in the area, but quickly decided it was just too good of a pool to not soak in. Once in the pool, I expected the hot water to churn with the cold river water to provide continual blasts of hot and cold. Thankfully, this was not the case because the pool depth kept the water a consistent temperature. Thus, an excellent soak was had.

Nick @ Snively

Soon, Spring will bring more visitors back into the canyon along with lush colors and spring runoff, which submerges the pools at Snively. I witnessed only one other vehicle in the area the entire day, a truck pulling 2 ORVs coming from the direction of Lake Owyhee.

Rating: A- (trash deduction)

View additional pictures, trip reports, video clips of Snively Hot Springs

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